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Review: Jurlique’s Activating Water Essence

Oh yes, ‘essences’ – another K-Beauty or Skincare trend, that is probably confusing the crap out of mere mortals 😛 🙂 What is an essence? I would describe them as a more potent toner. I say this, because now you know when to use them in your routine – after cleansing and before your daily serum (if you use one, if not, then moisturiser). The difference between a traditional toner and an essence, is that toners were designed to predominantly re balance the ph of your skin after cleansing and make it feel more ‘comfortable’. Since skincare has come a long way in the last few years (if not decade!) most of us stay away from very stripping cleansers thankfully, so toners aren’t required per se. However, as Koreans love their skincare routines and want to get the most out of them, essences come in as a ‘super hydration booster’. They also help your serum to penetrate into the deeper levels of your skin, as damp skin soaks up more product usually. When I saw that Australian brand Jurlique had come out with their own version of an essence, I really wanted to give it a go! And I have to say, they have done really well with this one 🙂

Infuse the skin with the nutrients it needs, activating your skin’s optimal vitality with Jurlique Activating Water Essence. This unmissable step in your skincare ensures that your serum and moisturiser are interacting with your skin at optimal levels.Jurlique Activating Water Essence features Jurlique’s Tri-Level Activation system, which has the following benefits:
  1. Hydrates: actives water retention via emollients

  2. Conditions: activates skin softness via nutrients

  3. Revitalises: skin renewal via alpha glucansDesigned to be used between a toner and a serum, Jurlique Activating Water Essence contains Marshmallow Root to intensely hydrate and condition the skin, Seven Botanicals to activate skin softness and smoothness. The skin is left feeling revitalised with Peach Leaf Extract, which contains alpha-glucans to re-energise and leave the skin healthy.

You will notice from the description above, that you can use the essence inbetween your toner step and serum, however, I figure that a lot of us don’t use a toner anymore, hence I use it instead of (though if you use a face mist, this would act as your toner and your essence would come in afterwards). You pour out a few drops of the essence into the palm of your hand, press your palms together, and then press it into your skin. You don’t need much product per application, so one 150ml bottle will last you a long time. I also love that I don’t have to waste any product, by pouring it over a cotton pad. Texture wise, I’d say the essence is a little bit thicker than water but it isn’t a gel either. It has quite a herbal scent, which I love. I wouldn’t call it an offensive herbal scent. I assume the herbal scent is from all the botanical extracts that Jurlique is famous for using (most are grown here in Australia, on organic farms owned by Jurlique).


I find that the essence leaves my skin feeling plump and hydrated after cleansing. It leaves skin feeling a touch sticky but this disappears quite quickly, especially once you layer other skincare on top. My serums go on beautifully over the top of the essance. Now, is it an essential step in your skincare routine? Yes and no. If your skincare routine is seriously minimal and you only use moisturiser or sunscreen in the mornings for example, you should notice a big difference by using an essence before your moisturiser. Hydrating products cover a multitude of sins if you will, because hydrators will plump the skin, make wrinkles and fine lines less visible, allow your skin’s barrier function to work as it should and defend your skin from oxidative stress and pollutants. If you already use serums (that contain hydrators and antioxidants) and creams containing actives, I wouldn’t say that this is an essential step in your routine that you cannot live without (to me, sunscreen, moisturiser and vitamins C+E and A/retinol, are must haves). BUT if you are a skincare nut like me, making sure you get the most out of your products and serums in particular (which tend to be expensive and all) make essences a nice addition.

Jurlique only does one type of essence and it should suit every skin type – except for maybe super sensitive skin, as it contains citrus essential oils (not a lot – but they can still be sensitising especially if you are planning to be out in the sun). The essence comes in a glass bottle, which feels super heavy and fancy. Not great for travel, but lovely to keep on your counter top in the bathroom. It also makes the price of the essence a little more justified, as it comes in at $70 Aus monies for 150ml 😉 I do also think that Jurlique holds it’s own ground well in comparison to Korean skincare brands. I’ve only tested out samples of Korean essences, and while some were more hydrating than others, Jurlique is most certainly one of the most hydrating. If using naturally/botanic based skincare products in important to you, then you can’t go past Jurlique either! You can find the essence at Adore Beauty (who also offer free shipping with every order as always).

Have you tried an essence before beauties? Does this one spark your interest? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Catch ya next time,

Beauty Bee~

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